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Caller tells radio show she thought sonic boom was gunshot

MICHAELA: "I was in my work cigarette shelter on my own and I thought somebody was shooting at me because it was so loud and everything shook. I jumped and then dove for cover."

PRESENTER: "Oh really?! Bless you! Once you got yourself off the floor, what did you think after you realised you weren't getting shot at?"

MICHAELA: "I immediately ran back into the call centre and told everyone but then it was all over the news by then and I felt a bit of an idiot to be honest."

PRESENTER: "Did the whole ground move?"

MICHAELA: "Yes. It's like a plastic bus shelter thing and the whole thing shook. It made me pretty scared."

What exactly is a sonic boom?

A sonic boom is the sound heard as a result of shockwaves created when an aircraft travels through the air and breaks the sound barrier. It is a very loud noise, which is why sonic booms are often mistaken for explosions.

NASA says it is currently studying and testing devices that could be used on aircraft to lesson noise (such as that made by a sonic boom) created by different types of flight: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/what-is-supersonic-flight-58.html

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